$242,563 Paid in Back Wages for Overtime and Record-Keeping Violations by Lighting and Electrical Services Company

Monday, September 9, 2013

Solis Lighting and Electrical Services has paid $242,563 in back wages to 101 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the San Clemente-based employer in violation of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The investigation by the division’s San Diego District Office disclosed that Solis Lighting and Electrical did not pay workers an overtime premium for hours worked beyond 40 per week, as required by the FLSA. The employer kept another payroll record for travel time, paying employees separately for work time spent in travel at the regular hourly rate, even when total work hours exceeded 40 per week. Additionally, the employer routinely deducted a 30-minute meal break from the workers’ daily work hours, even though employees worked through their meal breaks.

Solis Lighting and Electrical has paid the back wages in full and implemented new policies to comply with FLSA requirements, such as converting salaried employees to hourly pay and having employees complete their own time sheets. The lighting, energy management and electrical services company serves more than 2,000 locations across 11 states.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Earnings may be determined on a piece-rate basis, but must meet the minimum wage. Overtime pay must be computed using the employee’s average hourly rate. Bona fide meal periods—typically 30 minutes or more—generally need not be compensated as work time. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. The employee is not relieved if he is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

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